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Contents | New Rules Updates| Printable Version

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These rules are not intended to reiterate all applicable laws. The word "counsel" throughout these rules also applies to pro se parties.

These rules are effective on February 17, 2021.


Rule 28. Oral Argument.

(a) Request and Time.

(1) Unless expressly ordered by the Court, oral argument is never mandatory and argument may be submitted by briefs only. A case may be placed on the calendar for oral argument only if the Court grants the request of either party. Oral argument is not permitted for applications or motions.

(2) A request for oral argument shall be filed as a motion within 20 days from the date the case is docketed in this Court. An extension of time to file brief and enumeration of errors does not extend the time to request oral argument.

(3) The request for oral argument must be a separate document, filed with the Clerk, certifying that opposing counsel has been notified of the request and that opposing counsel desires, or does not desire, to argue orally. The request shall identify the counsel who would argue, and any change of counsel shall be communicated to the Clerk as soon as practicable.

(4) A request shall contain a brief statement describing with particularity how the decisional process will be significantly aided by oral argument. Conclusory assertions do not comply with this rule. The request should be self-contained and should convey the specific reason or reasons oral argument would be beneficial to the Court. These reasons may include, but are not limited to, that oral argument would simplify an unusually complex case or that the appeal presents an important question of first impression for the Court. The Court will also take into account a statement that the grant of oral argument would further the development of a newer attorney. Counsel should not assume the brief or the record will be considered in ruling on the request for oral argument.

(b) Waiver.

After either side has been granted oral argument, either side may waive argument, but waiver by either party does not remove the case from the oral argument calendar. If either counsel decides to waive oral argument after it has been granted, waiving counsel must notify opposing counsel and the Court of that fact.

Argument shall not be allowed on behalf of any party whose brief has not been timely filed, unless permission is granted by the Court. Counsel who have been granted an extension of time to file a brief after the term to which the case was docketed have waived oral argument.

Oral argument is waived if counsel is not inside the courtroom when the case is formally called in its order for argument.

(c) Time of Oral Argument.

Postponements of oral argument are not favored, and no postponement shall be granted under any circumstances that would allow oral argument to take place during a term of the Court subsequent to the term to which the case was docketed.

(d) Length.

Argument is limited to 30 minutes for each case, 15 minutes on each side, unless by special leave an enlargement of time is granted.

No additional time shall be granted for argument except on motion made in writing at least five days before the date set for argument. If additional time is granted, the case shall be placed at the end of the calendar unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Appeals, cross-appeals, companion cases, and related cases shall be considered to be one case for purpose of oral argument. In the discretion of the Court, a companion case may be treated as a separate case for oral argument if counsel so requests by written motion at least five days before the date set for oral argument and the motion is granted by the Court. When there are third parties or additional parties with divergent interests, additional time may be requested and granted as set out above.

(e) Number of Counsel Arguing.

Ordinarily, when both sides of an appeal are argued, only two counsel on each side shall be heard. When only one side of an appeal is argued, or when arguments are made on behalf of more than two parties, no more than one counsel per party shall be heard. For exceptions, see Rule 28 (j), Procedural Questions.

(f) Opening and Concluding.

Appellant has the right to open and conclude the arguments.

(g) Courtroom Decorum.

(1) Counsel appearing for oral argument shall check in with the Clerk in the courtroom 30 minutes before the time scheduled for oral argument and shall specify who shall argue.

(2) Talking, reading newspapers or other material, and audibly studying briefs or arranging papers are prohibited in the courtroom. The lawyers’ lounge has been provided for this purpose.

(3) All counsel appearing before the Court must be properly attired.

(4) Only counsel for the parties may be seated at counsel table.

(h) Recording.

Oral arguments may be recorded. Copies of audio recordings, if available, may be purchased for $30.

(i) Oral Argument Open to the Public.

Counsel may move the Court to exclude the public during argument for a good cause shown no later than 24 hours before oral argument. News media may be granted permission to photograph or videotape oral argument in accordance with the Court’s standing order regarding media in the courtroom.

(j) Procedural Questions.

The Presiding Judge shall decide all questions or issues arising at oral argument.

Rule 29. Hearing by Quorum.

Whenever a Division of the Court is on the bench for the purpose of hearing oral argument, and a quorum (two judges) is present, the Division shall proceed with the call of the docket.